A systematic review of factors leading to occupational injuries and fatalities

Joana Eva Dodoo, Hosam Al-Samarraie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
787 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The burden of health and safety related issues emanating from the modern workplace is overwhelming. Although the prevailing statistics found in the literature show that victims of workplace fatalities and injuries are higher in developing countries and transition economies, there is a very limited understanding of the causal factors that may correspond to the continuous increase in the occupational exposure of employees to various fatalities and injuries. The purpose of this study was to review the literature on occupational safety of workers with the objective of highlighting the major causal factors of workplace injuries and fatalities from a multi-regional perspective, particularly on job-contexts with highest safety and health related hazards. Methodology: A systematic review of the literature was conducted on 73 empirical studies in the regions of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and the Americas (the US & Canada). Findings: The results showed that the highest number of injuries and fatalities were mostly found in the construction industry. It further emerged that most of the studies were centered in developing countries within Africa and Asia. Other results and recommendations were discussed for each region. Value: The findings from this study have the potential to expose the regional dynamics in relation to safety in the workplace. This study also addresses the main areas of concern for stakeholders to promote organizational development and safety culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-113
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Public Health (Germany)
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10389-020-01427-4

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


  • Occupational safety
  • Organizational factors
  • Unsafe behavior
  • Work injuries and fatalities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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